Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — "Work hard, play hard" keeps us going. This has been the mantra of any hardworking professional, probably even dating back to college days, when thesis was the most important thing in the world. These days, the scope of work is more real. You're doing actual paying work with real risks and impact to society. Plus, now that you're a professional, weekends are not as sacred, if not yet entirely desecrated by work and its accompanying worries.
Squeezing the playtime into work time seems challenging, but the key is compartmentalization: set aside time to unwind. Adult life involves having well-thought and healthier choices. In comes the 'me-time': a look out the window, a nightcap, a verse in a poem, essentially any type of breather.
Time to turn off the work thoughts, get off the radar, and take your mind to somewhere restful, with a bottle of low-calorie, low-carb, zero-sugar beer in San Mig Zero to top it all off.
1. Get a spa day
If you're the type who likes quiet and dark spaces to relax, a spa day might be the best thing to take your mind off work. It doesn't have to be anything grand: the price for massages ranges from below a thousand bucks to a little above. The best thing about getting a massage is letting and going limp right there on the massage table, and floating to your happy place. Is it a meadow, an island of bliss, or a sanctuary? Your call. It is your happy place. If mentally conjuring your happy place seems difficult, get a home service massage. Prepare to zone out and ignore work emails for two whole hours or more.
2. Weekend Getaway
Remember school breaks and going to the beach? That's still a choice for adults. In fact, literally going away to another geographical point on the map is how most adults get away from work. Work is out of sight and, therefore, out of mind. Zip code hopping introduces you to new people, new cultures, and new experiences. If you're more of the adventurous type, the adrenaline rush will push work out of your mind, as you concentrate on trekking that mountain or riding that wave. If you're up for it, there are more secluded paradise destinations where cellular signals aren't even a thing.
3. Movie Marathon
If you're not keen on going out, but would still like to be taken away, a whole weekend of movie marathons or binge watching might do the trick. A movie will transport you to another realm, and leave you with questions that will linger the whole weekend. This is what's unique about good cinema: you're taken away, transformed, and then the lights are back on and you're back on your couch.
4. Vintage Store Hopping
Probably too bohemian for most, but thrift store shopping (not just for clothes) can get exciting. This is especially true for the old souls - because vintage will always be timeless. What's unique about diving to the past is it takes you out of the present. You don't think about work. It's all vinyl records, vintage toy cars and planes, first edition books, and '90s geometric prints, which, by the way, seem to be making a comeback.
5. Revisit old friends
Nothing like revisiting the classics: Hans Christian Andersen, Brothers Grimm, Louisa May Alcott. We grew up with these characters, and cheered as our heroes sailed into cinematic success. Honestly, why have you been keeping the books all this time? They were your friends before you stepped into college and got lost in the confusion. So this weekend, turn off your phone and revisit these old friends, and it might surprise you to find something new in the old pages.
A rough estimate, but we're a generation that rarely cooks. Suspect is the variety of choices once you step out the door: myriad of Asian cuisines, American, and European. Sometimes, you don't even eat, because work has taken too much time and it's already 11 p.m. when you get home. So this weekend, learn about cooking and maybe finally get around to that meal planning. You know that fast-food meals aren't healthy at all, right?
Work is never truly done, but you also know that having a career is fulfilling. A career is also a way to put your work out into the world, where it will impact lives. In short, the work you do is relevant, but breaks are just as important. Don't be guilty about taking your mind off work, especially when you're long overdue for a break.
While you're taking a break and enjoying with friends, turn the dial a bit higher with San Mig Zero. It has the lowest calories, lowest carbs, and no sugar, so you can have guilt-free fun over the weekend without sacrificing too much. Get it from the nearest supermarket or convenience store, and start your me-time weekend.